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Melissa Bee

ratings
44
REVIEWS
36
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
11
HELPFUL VOTES
42

  • Dare You To

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Katie McGarry
    • Narrated By Brittany Pressley, Christopher Gebauer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (125)
    Performance
    (111)
    Story
    (113)

    Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock - with secrets he can't tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the Skater girl who couldn't be less interested in him. But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction neither Ryan nor Beth expected. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams - and his life - for the girl he loves, and the girl who won't let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all....

    Katheryne says: "Country boy meets big city girl - worlds collide"
    "Maybe for teens but not so great for this adult"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really think this novel is much more geared for teens and I would not have liked it at all if I would have been reading it. The story was alright, a bit predictable but I did enjoy the narrator's voices, especially Beth's.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • One Summer

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Karen Robards
    • Narrated By Kate Fleming
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (43)
    Performance
    (39)
    Story
    (39)

    hnny Harris is home again, his too-tight jeans and damn-your-eyes belligerence honed to perfection by a ten-year stretch in federal prison for murder. Now he’s out on parole and ready for the job Rachel Grant has promised him to help him begin a new life. Unlike the rest of the town, Rachel has always believed in her former student’s innocence. But one thing has changed. The sullenly handsome boy she remembers is still sullen, still handsome - but no longer a boy.

    Karen says: "A Classic Robards! A must buy"
    "Loved the romance, not the mystery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I think I'm a very tough critic when it comes to the romantic suspense genre. I really feel that the romance compromises the mystery or the mystery compromises the romance. In this book it’s the former; I loved the romance but didn't care for the mystery at all. I could look past the out-datedness of the story (it had an obvious 80's feel) but I felt that the mystery was "cheesy." Anna Fields/Kate Fleming is a quality narrator, but I expected much more from this story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Flowers from the Storm

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Laura Kinsale
    • Narrated By Nicholas Boulton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (564)
    Performance
    (533)
    Story
    (534)

    He's a duke. He's a mathematical genius. He can't talk and he's locked in a lunatic asylum. Only a modest Quaker girl can reach him, but when she helps him to escape, she's swept into his glittering aristocratic world, her life torn apart by his desperate attempt to save himself.

    ~~ DARA ~~ says: "~COMPELLING!!~ Love This Author! Love This Book!"
    "Heart wrenching story, beyond amazing performance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This has become one of my all time favorite books and although it is historical fiction, I consider it a classic ranked with the likes of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. I just loved this story that much.

    Nicholas Boulton's narration was exquisite (what a voice!) I can't think of anyone else who could have captured Christian's torment the way he did-it was an amazing performance. Readers and listeners should be warned that this story is agonizingly beautiful and completely emotionally draining. I physically clutched my heart a few times (I kid you not). I was just so touched by Christian's fragmented thoughts and sputtering words. The part where he was trying to convey his wishes to his friend and gestured, telling him, "braid...down" just undid me. There were just so many scenes that I could not stop thinking about...all the times that I felt I just couldn't take anymore anguish.

    God, but I do love a beautiful, tortured love story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Shadow and the Star

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Laura Kinsale
    • Narrated By Nicholas Boulton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (315)
    Performance
    (289)
    Story
    (291)

    In defense of her honor, innocent Leda Etoile has burned all her bridges and taken refuge in her tiny attic room in a shabby boarding house in London. But her last safe haven is invaded when she wakes to find a man hidden in the dark - a man with golden hair and the face of a fallen angel, who moves in the night like a shadow. Will he be her savior, or her ruin? Samuel Gerard draws her inexorably into the richest circles of aristocratic England. But even as Leda falls in love with a man she can never have, she must keep his secrets.

    ~~ DARA ~~ says: "Wonderful Story - Wished it was longer!! ;-)"
    "Heart crushing plot, exceptional narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I came across one reviewer who claimed Nicholas Boulton had "ruined" her for all other narrators and after listening to him in Flowers from the Storm and now this one, well I whole-heartedly agree. Nicholas Boulton's voice is pure bliss and his performance is exquisite. Honestly, I do believe he could read me a tax form and I may clutch my heart in divine anguish. I'm ecstactic that he reads all of Laura Kinsale's books and I purchased all that were available for sale after listening to Flowers from the Storm (I'm staggering them between several other audiobooks so that I can slowly savor them).

    What is so amazing about the pairing of Boulton and Kinsale is that he perfectly performs the beautiful, tormented characters and heart crushing plots that Kinsale has devised. Her words are lovely, but Boulton, without a doubt, heightens any emotion a reader could summon by just reading alone. Really, you should be forbidden to read Kinsale's books when there is such a narrator as Boulton to perform them. I mean Japanese, Hawaiian, English and British accents...I think he's unbeatable.

    The beginning of this book started off a bit shaky for me; I had my doubts about the Japanese story line and I waited for it to become the one aspect that wouldn't work in this book; however, Kinsale pulled it off. I would hesitate to call Samuel a Ninja at all. He was conditioned and educated on many levels of respect and self control and learning to fight was a strong part of that (with and without a sword). I enjoyed the short chapters of Samuel as a boy being trained in Hawaii interlaced with the intense, present day relationship with Leda.

    Like Flowers from the Storm, I felt a bit speechless at the end of this book... Kinsale really pushes the reader's comfort level as to how much their heart can really take; I was amazed I was able to survive the emotional rollercoaster this book took me through.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • My Beautiful Enemy

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Sherry Thomas
    • Narrated By Charlotte Anne Dore
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (27)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (27)

    Catherine Blade's uncommon beauty and daring have taken her far in the world, but she still doesn't have the freedom to live life as she chooses. Finally given the chance to earn her independence, who should be standing in her way but the only man she's ever loved - the only person to ever betray her. Despite the scars Catherine left him, Captain Leighton Atwood has never been able to forget the mysterious girl who once so thoroughly captivated him.

    Christina says: "my least favorite from this author, and still good"
    "Exceptional story-adequate narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've said it before, I believe Sherry Thomas is a master when it comes to angst and clever wording. As with many of her previous novels, Thomas uses time as a tool to create and intensify the heart-ache between characters. In this story, Catherine Blade, who is half British, half American and trained in martial arts, has just come to England for the first time searching for a coveted stone tablet. She is shocked to run into Leighton Atwood, a man whom she met and supposedly killed eight years earlier. The prequel of this book, The Hidden Blade covers both her, as Ying-ying, and Leighton's separate childhoods.

    We learn of her and Leighton's intense relationship in alternating chapters from eight years earlier during their travels in Chinese Turkestan when they were disguised as a Persian merchant and Kazakh boy. Their meeting and travels together are beyond entertaining. The intense wording and drama had me riveted.

    The present day chapters revolve around the awkwardness of Catherine and Leighton as he now has a fiancé and his wedding date approaches, along with the mystery of the tablets and the true enemy stalking her.

    Although I found this story to be exceptional, I did not feel the narrator, Charlotte Anne Dore, was the right one for this book. Her voices (or rather her lack of variety in her voices) puzzled me a bit. I wondered why there weren't differentiations in voices between Ying-ying when she was pretending to be a Kazakh boy, when she was in China, and then when she was in England. Her voice in all locations was the same. This can also be said of Leighton's voice when he was a Persian merchant-his voice wasn't any different than when he was in England. Had there been distinct variations, this audiobook could have been amazing.

    I also noticed that Dore often took unnatural pauses while reading and that was at times very distracting. I did like the overall sound of her voice-a bit gravelly, which could fit the hidden strength within Catherine/Ying-ying. I didn't think she did this story justice. Had I just read this story, and not listened to it, I would have easily given it 5 stars.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lessons in French

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Laura Kinsale
    • Narrated By Nicholas Boulton
    Overall
    (205)
    Performance
    (189)
    Story
    (191)

    Trevelyan d'Augustin and Lady Callista Talliafaire were secret sweethearts, until the day her father dismissed him with a whip across the face. Ten years and three jiltings later, shy Callie is resigned to a quiet village life as the late earl's spinster daughter. But now Trev has returned from his estates in France, upending everything, dragging her into adventures, stealing Hubert the prize-winning bull, and flinging Callie's heart into mayhem again.

    ~~ DARA ~~ says: "Holy Cow!! What A Lovely Romance!! ;-)"
    "Cute story-outstanding narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This story was sweet and light hearted but I really missed the angst that was present in the other two books by Kinsale/Boulton that I listened to. Nicholas Boulton is hands down the best narrator I've ever listened to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Knaves' Wager

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Loretta Chase
    • Narrated By Stevie Zimmerman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (83)
    Performance
    (75)
    Story
    (75)

    Lilith Davenant has ample reason to detest Julian Wyndhurst, Marquess of Brandon: He's exactly the kind of man who hastened the demise of her profligate husband, and the debt he owed to Julian has forced her to an engagement with a wealthy suitor for the sake of supporting her beloved nieces and nephews. Besides that, Lord Julian somehow manages to ignite disturbing...feelings...she's never felt before!

    Lady Wesley says: "Delightful book marred by poor production quality"
    "Nice story- poor quality sound environment"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed this story and the narration was good; however the environment that it was recorded in was very poor. The narrator sounded "tinny" and that distracted the listener from the story...or at least it took me a while to get used to it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Firelight: Darkest London, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Kristen Callihan
    • Narrated By Moira Quirk
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (350)
    Performance
    (325)
    Story
    (322)

    Miranda Ellis is a woman tormented. Plagued since birth by a strange and powerful gift, she has spent her entire life struggling to control her exceptional abilities. Yet one innocent but irreversible mistake has left her family's fortune decimated and forced her to wed London's most nefarious nobleman. Lord Benjamin Archer is no ordinary man. Doomed to hide his disfigured face behind masks, Archer knows it's selfish to take Miranda as his bride. Yet he can't help being drawn to the flame-haired beauty whose touch sparks a passion he hasn't felt in a lifetime.

    Jennifer says: "What's behind the mask?"
    "Beauty and the Beast...with a twist of fire"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I chose this book based on other reviewers at Audible and because the narrator, Mora Quirk, did a wonderful job with the Princes Trilogy by Elizabeth Hoyt. This was a great decision because I thoroughly enjoyed this new take on what I felt was a Beauty and the Beast type of fairytale...with a twist of fire.

    This audiobook had everything I truly love in a story: historical fiction, sensual romance, mystery, a strong heroine, a commendable hero and an element of fantasy that doesn't overwhelm the story. Pair that with an excellent narrator who actually performs the story and has distinct and memorable voices for each character, and it's an easy win/win.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Different Blue

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Amy Harmon
    • Narrated By Tavia Gilbert
    Overall
    (63)
    Performance
    (60)
    Story
    (60)

    Blue Echohawk doesn't know who she is. She doesn't know her real name or when she was born. Abandoned at two and raised by a drifter, she didn't attend school until she was ten years old. At nineteen, when most kids her age are attending college or moving on with life, she is just a senior in high school. With no mother, no father, no faith, and no future, Blue Echohawk is a difficult student, to say the least.

    J. Duncan says: "Great story."
    "Lovely, heart-felt story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    “Regret is just life's aftertaste.”

    This was a lovely, heart-felt story about Blue's discovery of who she really is. There wasn't a moment during her journey that I wasn't fully invested in what I was listening to.

    The narrator brought this story to life with her amazing British, Spanish and Native American voices. The overall quality of her voice is almost melodious. It rings with clarity and intent.

    I don't usually listen to contemporary stories on audio and this one was a bit of a risk for me. I'm happy to say that it exceeded my expectations and I still think about certain parts of this book-the humor and heartache, often. It's one of those stories that lingers long after you've stopped listening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Boots My Mother Gave Me

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Brooklyn James
    • Narrated By Brooklyn James
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    The Boots My Mother Gave Me explores the dynamics of abuse and dysfunction, the courage to overcome, the strength in sisterhood, and the ongoing conflict and unconditional love between mothers and daughters. Climb into Charlene the Chevelle for a fast-paced story about a girl who is tough enough to survive and tender enough to learn to trust in love.

    Melissa Bee says: "Hoped for a better connection with the story"
    "Hoped for a better connection with the story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book fits nicely in the New Adult genre; with a little less angst and more real life issues addressed than what is typically expected. It’s a coming of age story focused on Harley from age 17 on through the next decade. Harley is a free spirit who longs to get away from her small town and her alcoholic, abusive father. Although she tries to make her way in the world by traveling and trying various career paths, her family-father, sister and mother –are strong anchors to her previous life and keep her coming back home in moments of crisis. For as much as Harley wants to create a life of her own, she is, above all, their caretaker when things get rough.

    At the heart of the novel is her relationship with Jeremiah (Miah) who she has known since she was a child and whose friendship becomes something more. My main contention with this novel was how Harley handles this relationship as well as the others in her life. The author shines a light on certain people and then “drops them” and moves onto another situation without a resolution. I understand this is part of Harley’s personality but it made for a frustrating read. There are many times that we are privy to important information (when Harley’s sister, Kat, calls her home because she needs her help) then it’s years later before we find out any more information about that very significant incident. Could Harley be that removed from her sister after she sees her that there’s no real involvement with her for two years after that? I have a hard time believing that she could be so absorbed in figuring out what to do with herself that she hardly gives a thought to the other people in her life. Miah, her best friend, is dropped from her life for years –only thinking about him a handful of times (if that). I felt a very deep contradiction between Harley’s words of wisdom and her actual investment into the lives of the people who are important to her. I grew tired of her "common sense” talks to herself with no actual follow through.

    This is the first time that I have listened to an audiobook where the author is also the narrator. I will say that Brooklyn James has a perfect voice for the character of Harley. She fully captured both her youth and vivaciousness. Although she read smoothly with a good, clear pace, I didn’t notice much, if any differentiation between voices. While there wasn’t an extensive cast of characters, it’s essential for an audiobook to have some (even if it’s subtle) differences in voices.

    This audiobook did have several unique qualities to it. There was a distinct tone to indicate when Harley was experiencing a memory/flashback and again at the end of it. While this was a nice distinction I think that it could have been even briefer. I felt it was odd that so much time was given to signal when this was occurring, yet many of the chapters started with barely a pause between them. Another new listening feature was having Harley’s songs imbedded within the story. This was actually fun; most were very short and really let you feel the moment as it unfolded.

    This story clearly has a good message-finding the strength to make yourself happy and empowering others to make a better life for themselves. While I felt the story lacked real emotional depth and I failed to really connect with it the way I hoped to, I did think Miah was wonderful and was amazed at his love and patience for Harley. All my favorite moments in the book included him and I appreciated the happy ending for both of them-but even more so for Jeremiah.

    ***A copy of this audiobook was given to me in exchange for an honest review***

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Understudy

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Carole Bellacera
    • Narrated By Angie Hickman
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    Robin Mulcahey has always dreamed of being a big-time actress. As a college student, she took endless drama classes and finally snagged the lead of Maggie in Tennessee Williams's Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Now, six years later, she's one of the country's hottest soap-opera stars. She's just won a Daytime Emmy for her portrayal of South Riding's bad girl, and now when it seemed life couldn't get any more perfect, she's wed Declan Blair, an up-and-coming Irish film actor. So what's the problem? Robin Mulcahey is dead.

    Cara Theriot says: "A refreshing & original concept that surprised me!"
    "Deception that takes on a life of its own"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story


    This book started out slow for me. I felt the building of Amy and Robin’s friendship took more time than I would have liked and added considerable length/listening time. I understood the reason for this was to call attention to details that would have greater significance later on in the story. Robin was never a likeable person to me, and the narrator chose to give her an annoying voice (which matched her personality). That voice softened throughout the story but was tough to tolerate in the beginning.

    The story became intriguing once the accident takes place and more so when Robin makes a life for herself, separate from who her heart desires. I wasn’t expecting her deception to take on the longevity that it did. Bringing in the character of Declan further threw me and had me fixated not only on where the plot was going but how it would end. This was my favorite part of the story, and a good reason for that was not only because of his personal issues, which becomes a significant turning point for the main characters, but because the narrator really shined when she captured his Irish accent.

    Although I was happy with the ending, I do feel the plot went on too long and was essentially too far- fetched for me. The setting is in the 1990’s, and the medical/surgical aspects didn’t fit in respect to capability. Modern methods may have delivered the smooth, beautiful outcome achieved (not only once but twice) but I don’t think results in the 90’s were as efficient. Then there's the moral turmoil Paul had to overcome which was discomforting even after everything was said and done.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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